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WildlifeCruisesPageWestern Canada268Galápagos Islands269Greenland270India - Brahmaputra271Maldives272Mexico273Spitsbergen274Sub-Antarctic Islands275Cruise Vessels276-281267

The 'Great Bear Rainforest' protectsone of the largest remaining tracks oftemperate rainforest left in the world.Stretching along the intricate, island-dottedcoastline of British Columbia, fromVancouver Island to the Alaskan border,this is a region of spectacular naturalbeauty and abundant wildlife. AncientWestern Red Cedars - some over 1,000years old -- grow alongside toweringWestern Hemlocks, Amabilis Fir and SitkaSpruce, each dripping with curtains oflichens and moss. This forest of toweringgiants forms a magnificent naturalcathedral, bisected by numerous glacier-fed streams which flow into the maze ofnarrow channels, fjords and woodedislands of the fabled 'Inside Passage'. Onland, the forests, estuaries and rockybeaches are patrolled by Black Bears(including the occasional 'Spirit Bear', arare white genetic variant), Grey Wolves,Cougars and, of course, the 'Great Bear'itself, the Grizzly! Overhead soar BaldEagles, whilst offshore Humpback Whalesreturn every summer, joining pods ofOrcas, Grey Whales, Pacific White-sidedDolphins, Steller's Sea Lions andnumerous seabirds.Since much of the Great Bear Rainforest isremote and inaccessible, the best way toexplore this spectacular region is from thewater. For this reason, Naturetrek haschartered the 16-berth sailing vessel,'Island Roamer', to operate a 7-nightdedicated wildlife cruise. Our holidaybegins, however, with a flight to Vancouverin Western Canada, where we spend onenight before flying north over themountains, fjords and islands of coastal'BC' to the small community of Bella Bella.Here we board the 'Island Roamer' andbegin our cruise.Each summer, millions of Pacific salmonreturn to the streams of British Columbia tospawn. Our cruise has been timed to takefull advantage of this annual natural feastfor, once the salmon start running up therivers in the early autumn, the bears,Wolves, eagles and other wildlife move in.Our time on the water begins with twodays exploring the coastal waterways ofthe Fjordland Provincial Protected Area.This is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch ofcoastline and home to an abundance ofwildlife both above and below the waves.Waterbirds should include our firstRhinoceros Auklets, plus the diminutiveMarbled Murrelet; the latter is a flagshipspecies for the conservation movement,for it nests only in old growth forest! GreatNorthern Divers are common, together withRed-necked and Slavonian Grebes, Blackand Surf Scoters and parties of twirlingRed-necked Phalaropes. Whenever we areon the water we must always keep oureyes open for the distinctive triangular finsof a pod of patrolling Orcas or perhaps aspeedy group of Pacific White-sidedDolphins or the 'rooster tail' shaped splashof a Dall's Porpoise. We will also exploreremote estuaries to look for Grizzly Bearsattracted by spawning salmon and keep a sharp look out at all times along theforest edge for one of the Great BearRainforest's elusive Grey Wolves. A healthypopulation of Cougars also lives here, butthis secretive cat is only seen by the veryfortunate few!Continuing north we will spend theremainder of our cruise exploring theforests and maze of waterways in thevicinity of Princess Royal Island, one of thelargest islands in the Great Bear Rainforest.Here we hope to see the rare 'Spirit' orKermode Bear, an attractive 'all white'genetic variant of the Black Bear that onlyoccurs in this small area. We will alsoexplore the beautiful Khutze Inlet, anothergreat area to look for Grizzly Bears, helpedby the intricate local knowledge of aTsimshian First Nations guide. Black-tailedDeer, River Otter, American Mink andAmerican Marten are also possible. Theaptly named 'Whale Channel' is a veryreliable area for Humpback Whales and, iffortunate, we may come across a FinWhale or two, or even a huge NorthernElephant Seal. Birds to look out for includeFork-tailed Storm Petrel, Sooty Shearwater,Harlequin Duck, Pacific and Red-throatedDivers, Pigeon Guillemot and the beautifulTufted Puffin. We will also try to make dailyshore excursions by Zodiac and take timeto explore the forests, estuaries andcoastlines on foot. This will give us theopportunity to enjoy the abundant andcolourful intertidal life, plus a few lingeringwoodland birds such as Varied Thrush,Pacific Slope Flycatcher and Townsend'sWarbler.Our cruise ends where it first began, backin the small community of Bella Bella. Herewe must disembark from the 'IslandRoamer' and leave the moss-drapedforests of coastal BC for Vancouver, andultimately, home.Spirit Bears, Grizzlies & Orcas - Cruising the Great Bear RainforestA 10-day holiday to coastal British Columbia including a 7-night wildlife cruise through the Great Bear Rainforest.Saturday 14th September - Monday 23rd September Cost: from £4,095Sunday 22nd September - Tuesday 1st October Cost: from £4,095Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Vancouver andovernight.Day 2Fly Bella Bella; embark'Island Roamer' andbegin cruise.Day 3/8Great Bear Rainforestcruise.Day 9Disembark 'IslandRoamer' and fly London.Day 10Arrive London.AccommodationFor this cruise we have exclusivelychartered the 16-berth 'IslandRoamer', a 21-metre sailing ketchlaunched in 1983. She features 8twin/double cabins with sharedtoilet and shower facilities, a largecomfortable lounge and plenty ofdeck space for wildlife-viewing.Additional information on 'IslandRoamer' can be found on Page279. In Vancouver we use acomfortable tourist motel.FoodAll included in the price except forlunches and dinners in Vancouver.Allow £30.GradingGrade A. Optional day walks only.FocusGrizzly Bears, Spirit Bears, whales,other mammals and birds.LeaderNaturetrek and local naturalistguides.Single room supplementNot available.Web quick search: CAN05268Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryBELLA BELLAPRINCESSROYALISLANDVANCOUVERISLANDPORTHARDYKHUTZEINLETBISHOP BAYHOTSPRINGSFJORDLANDPROTECTED AREAPACIFIC OCEANWESTERN CANADAGREAT BEAR RAINFORESTSpirit BearFjordlandIsland RoamerEXCLUSIVENATURETREK CHARTER